Q&A with Gentherm’s CTO Matt Fisch from SAE’s Thermal Management Systems Symposium
In October 2021, Matt Fisch, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Gentherm hosted a keynote presentation for SAE's Thermal Management Systems Symposium. Our team sat down with Matt for a brief Q&A to discuss how thermal management systems and digital integration have the potential to create value and provide a more intuitive "human connection" to Electric Vehicles (EVs).
Q: How is Gentherm using its expertise in thermal management to impact the EV transition?
Matt Fisch: “Over the years Gentherm has been fueled by providing thermal components to the seat, steering wheel and battery pack in the vehicle. Today, it has become part of a drive to create exponential value for our customers and consumers. We are building this value for an EV transition that is experience driven and human centric.”
Q: How is Gentherm shifting how it is developing new products?
Matt Fisch: “There is an important and ongoing paradigm shift in how we view systems in engineering. In the last ten years, companies and engineers have to deal with much more product complexity due to the increased focus on user experience. In addition, the level of collaboration that is needed for a product engineers’ job has increased exponentially. We are operating in uncharted waters, trying to deliver an experience where the car is focused on you.”
Q: How do you balance cabin comfort, customer comfort and driving range of an EV?
Matt Fisch: “The key is to give users an understanding of how their actions impact the cabin comfort and vehicle range, then let them make a personal choice. As an example, ClimateSense®, our proprietary microclimate solution comprised of advanced thermal products, integrated electronics, embedded software and a revolutionary thermo-physiology-based approach, is being built with different drive modes that tailor thermal management based on the user’s situation. By using AI to deliver precise comfort and energy savings, consumers can make the decision to prioritize extended range for a road trip or focus on comfort for a daily drive.”
Q: How is Gentherm utilizing its technology expertise in this digital world to bring new solutions to its customers?
Matt Fisch: “To innovate, it is critical to try and leverage others’ existing platforms as steppingstones to build new experiences. For example, Gentherm is considering how we can utilize a platform like a Driver Monitoring System (Camera, image processing, AI) and combine it with our expertise in thermophysiology to create value. Partnerships such as this are essential, in engineering’s new system focused paradigm, to delivering an EV experience that maximizes customer value while still prioritizing consumer comfort.”